How to Use Apostrophe Worksheets

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Use an apostrophe with words to show possession or when using contractions. For the word "it," do not use an apostrophe to show possession, but do use an apostrophe if it is a contraction. Learn about using apostrophes for plural words that also express possession with information from a writer and English tutor in this free video on grammar and punctuation.

Part of the Video Series: Grammar & Punctuation
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm here to talk about how to use apostrophes. One of the ways that apostrophes are used is to show possession. So if you have a single person or thing, such as Mike or the school, you'd put an apostrophe S on the end of that to show possession of an object or something else. "Mike's hat"; "The school's playground." If you're not sure if something is a possessive, just think, you know, the hat belongs to Mike. The playground belongs to the school. The exception to this is if you have a single noun that is unwieldy -- if it ends in an S or a double S -- you'd put the apostrophe on the outside after the the S. So in this case, "Socrates' teachings." When you have a plural noun and you're showing possession with that, you're going to put an S and then an apostrophe after the S. So in this case, "My parents' house" -- the house that belongs to both parents. If you're showing joint possession -- if two or more people own the same object -- you're just going to put the apostrophe S after the last noun or the last person who owns that thing. So if Tim and Sue share a car, you'd say, "Tim and Sue's car." However, if each of them has their own car, you'd put the apostrophe S on each of them -- "Tim's and Sue's cars." Another way that you would use apostrophes is in contractions, such as "don't." You'll use them in place of the letters that have been dropped. "Don't" is short for do not, so that O that's missing -- that's where you put the apostrophe. A common mistake is between its without an apostrophe and it's with an apostrophe. And it actually is a mistake that makes a lot of sense because most possessives have apostrophes. You know, like "Mike's hat." But with "it's," it's the other way around. It's with an apostrophe stands for it is. A possessive it such as my house's roof, -- "its roof" -- is going to be without an apostrophe.


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